Maple syrup is my favorite Vermont-made product.
I always keep a healthy supply of syrup in my refrigerator at all times. That is the Vermont way, right? I also love to visit sugar houses to see the process of making maple syrup and I love buying treats made with it. However, it’s easy to get uninspired at home and only use syrup on pancakes and waffles. Instead, try out some of these ideas for creative ways to use syrup at home.
Maple Syrup Salad Dressing
It’s so easy to throw together an easy maple salad dressing. I like to combine equal parts olive oil and syrup in a glass jar. I add in a dash of acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar, and season with salt or pepper. Then I shake everything together and it’s ready to go. I always have these ingredients on hand and I like that I can make just the amount that I need. Another version that I enjoy starts the same, with syrup and olive oil, but this time I don’t just use olive oil, I also add some sesame oil. I use my acid, then instead of salt, I use soy sauce. I also like to add some sesame seeds and finely minced fresh ginger. Yum!
Maple Syrup Ice Cream Topping
Maple syrup is so delicious on ice cream. Just pour the syrup right on top of the ice cream. It works great to jazz up plain vanilla ice cream, but you can get creative and add it to whatever flavor you want. If you’re fancy, you can cook the syrup first and you’ll get the sugar-on-snow consistency, but on ice cream. Two desserts in one!
Maple syrup makes a great addition to bread. I like to use it as a sweetener for a loaf of everyday bread made in my trusty bread machine. Maple syrup is also a great choice for sweet breads of all kinds, such as maple pumpkin bread. For extra sweetness, spread some maple butter on your bread!
Maple Bacon Braised Brussels Sprouts
No one in my family likes Brussels sprouts, yet they show up periodically in our CSA share. Luckily, maple syrup saves the day! Braising the Brussels sprouts with maple syrup and adding in some tasty bacon transforms the sprouts from a chore to eat to a dish to enjoy.
I love to add maple icing to cookies, cakes, or even brownies. There are so many options out there. Maple buttercream and maple cream cheese icings are both great options. To add some flavor in a hurry, I mix together maple syrup and powdered sugar until I get to the consistency I want, then I drizzle it over cookies, cakes, or breads.
Do I even need to explain this one? Candied bacon is delicious. Add it to whatever you want to make it taste amazing, too. Or eat it as is. This is a no-brainer.
In fall and winter, I often make soups with various types of squashes that I get from my CSA share. Perhaps the most common example of this is butternut squash soup. I love the combination of squash and maple syrup, so I always add a healthy amount of syrup to my squash soup.
Maple Kettle Corn
To be honest, I am usually lazy and just purchase maple kettle corn that someone else has kindly already made. My family loves it for a car-trip snack. However, it’s really not that difficult to make maple kettle corn at home. Either way, it’s delicious!